Carver Lake Park in Woodbury offers family-friendly amenities including a swimming beach and volleyball court, a picnic area, an accessible playground, and a bike trail. The park has restrooms available onsite. Leashed pets are allowed, but owners must pick up after them. The park has parking lots near the biking area and the beach. Restrooms are available at the picnic shelter near the beach. Note: This is not the same park as Carver Park Reserve in Victoria.
10 Ideas for Family Fun at Carver Lake Park
- Off-road bike. This is a popular trail for off-road bikers. It has added features to make it more challenging than a standard bike path. There is also a bike park for kids to work on biking skills.
- Swim at the beach. It is unguarded but large and clean with nearby restrooms, parking and play features.
- Play in the sand. There is a small sand play feature on the beach or bring your own sand toys to build sandcastles together.
- Go fishing together.
- Pack a picnic. This park has plenty of picnic tables, grills and shelters as well as green space to spread a blanket.
- Have fun on one of the playgrounds. The main playground is a decent sized, shady play space with a wood chip floor. It includes a large climbing rock with "tunnel" arch that kids can run through. The natural colors, wood chip floor and rock feature give a nature-play feel. There is a second, smaller playground by the beach with a sandy floor and brightly colored equipment with a nautical theme.
- Bring a volleyball for a game on the sand court.
- Take a walk. The walking paths are a combination of concrete and boardwalk and lead to pretty, hidden places. Dogs are welcome with the usual leash and pick up rules. However, if you are also visiting the beach, you may want to leave the dog home for this visit. Regulars recommend bug spray when walking the trails.
- Watch ducks and geese on the pond.
- Grab a book, put up your hammocks and chill and read together.
Carver Lake Beach
The beach is unguarded. During swimming season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), park patrons are allowed to swim from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Because there is no lifeguard on duty, Woodbury parks reminds patrons to watch kids carefully when they are in or around the water, to teach them to swim and develop safety skills and to wear life jackets when appropriate. This beach can get pretty crowded on weekends and warm days. Note that the beach will be closed when conditions are not safe (algae, e-coli, etc.). If this is your main destination, you may want to call ahead or check the website.
Bike Park & Park Off-Road Bike Trail
This park has both an off-road bike trail and a bike playground. You'll find a nearby bike pump station as well.
Bring kids of all ages to the bike park playground to develop skills in a controlled environment. Depending on ability, choose between a tot track, pump track or an advanced loop with added technical features, like dirt rollers, wooden berms, wooden technical trail features and rock gardens. This feature located is in an open area just off the main park entrance and has its own parking area.
The bike trail is 5 1/2 miles long. It will close when weather makes biking dangerous, but re-opens for winter riding once the trail freezes and the air temperature stays below freezing. Find a printable map here.
The nearest parking lot has recently been expanded to make room for vehicles carrying bicycles, kayaks and cancoies.
Fishing Carver Lake
Families can fish from the boardwalk or fishing pier. The Minnesota DNR includes this among their Fishing in the Neighborhood spots because it is a good place for beginners. The lake holds Bluegill, Black Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Bullhead.
A large group picnic shelter is available to rent between April 15th and October 15th. It has 14 picnic tables, a charcoal grill and electricity. The shelter holds up to 112 people and priced based on residency.
For more birthday party ideas we have created FFTC’s Ultimate Guide to Birthday Parties in the Twin Cities.
Carver Lake Campout
This park hosts an annual family campout most years. Families with kids ages 4-12 can camp at the park and participate in special activities in the evening and the next morning. The cost is $10/pp and pre-registration is required.
What Happened to Carver Lake Archery Range?
The archery range closed permanently April 18, 2017 due to intentional unsafe behavior by some users. The area will still be used for supervised youth archery courses through the parks department, but is no longer open to the public. The closest archery range is located at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve. You can find other Archery Ranges around the Twin Cities HERE.